Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
by Josh Grossberg | Wed., Oct. 17, 2012 7:41 AM
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
It looks like the alleged cheating he did on the bike could end up hurting Lance Armstrong's reputation as a do-gooder.
Despite the great work he's done with the cancer-fighting charity he founded, the disgraced cycling legend announced he's stepping down as the chairman of Livestrong in the wake of the doping allegations that caused him to be stripped of his record seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
In a statement on the organization's website, Armstrong said he didn't want his personal troubles to detract from Livestrong's mission.
"I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities," wrote Lance. "Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."
Livestrong's vice chairman, Jeff Garvey, will take over in his place.
While the decision was undoubtedly a difficult one, Armstrong—who founded the group after surviving advanced testicular cancer— will remain on the Lance Armstrong Foundation's 15-member board and continue to play an active part.
"My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community," added Armstrong. "We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer."
News of his departure in the top job comes after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a damning report last week that accused Armstrong of leading a conspiracy to cover up doping activities on the U.S. Postal Service Team during his historic Tour de France run. Eleven teammates, including some of his closest confidantes, offered up stark testimony that alleged they and Lance used banned substances and employed various high-tech methods to evade detection.
With Armstrong declining to fight the charges in arbitration and the USADA banning the cyclist from competition for life, Nike, one of Lance's biggest sponsors, announced today that it's cutting all ties with the athlete.
"Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him," the shoe giant said in a statement on its website. "Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner."
If there some small consolation to be had for Lance, Nike did add that it would continue to support Livestrong initiatives.